Pug Grooming

The lovable Pug also remains popular due to its low maintenance grooming regimen. This can easily be done at home by a first time owner, however, if your pet really puts up a fight when it's time for nail or ear care you may choose to consider professional grooming. This page will give you some basic information on how to groom a Pug including:

  • How often to bathe a Pug
  • Brushing frequency and the best Pug grooming brush
  • Teeth, Ear and Eye care tips
  • Nail trimming guidelines

Pug Coat Care

Pug grooming can easily be done at home. They have short, straight coat that are low maintenance, overall, but still require regular care. They are considered heavy shedders (especially in fall and spring) that need daily brushing if you want to avoid a lot of cleanup. When researching how to groom a Pug the most important thing to remember is to keep the wrinkles clean! This breed is known to get a stinky, doggy smell if not cared for properly. Also, note that many pugs may have sensitive skin that requires hypoallergenic soaps and skin conditions.

Brushing

Pugs shed heavily so, if you're able, it's best to brush them daily. If you don't mind the dog hair and extra cleanup then weekly is acceptable. Brushing is also a great way for you to inspect your dogs skin for any rashes, bumps, lumps, abrasions, etc. The best brush for a Pug is either a soft bristle brush or a rubber grooming mitt.

Note: Spring and fall are the heaviest shedding times for Pugs. Females will also shed more heavily when in heat.

Getting Out Tangles

Pugs' short coats don't tend to mat or tangle much--but when they do (especially during shedding season), the tangles can be impossible to get out! Because these dogs shed regularly, when dead hairs from the undercoat get tangled up with hair on the outer coat, the resulting snarls are very difficult to deal with.

The best way to handle tangles in Pugs' coats is to keep them from happening in the first place. A lot of owners use de-shedding tools like a Furminator to remove dead hairs from the undercoat. The best Furminator for Pugs is the de-shedding tool for small dogs with short hair. Ask a clerk at your pet store (or visit the Furminator.com Web site) for more info.

The problem with using a de-shedding tool is that it can damage the coat by removing healthy hairs along with the dead ones, which will leave the coat looking uneven. So if your Pug's coat does develop a tangle, it's best to remove it using your fingers. Try separating the hairs with your thumbs and forefingers, going strand by strand if necessary. For extra-stubborn snarls, use scissors to cut them in half (or even fourths) to start the process.

Bathing

There is a general consensus that your Pug needs a bath every 3-4 weeks. The breed is prone to getting a little stinky due to those cute wrinkles. We recommend brushing before bathing to remove loose hairs as well as having the tub already filled with a few inches of water before introducing your pet. Cleaning the ears is usually done separately from the actual bath.

The skin may be sensitive so the best shampoo for pugs is a hypoallergenic one, you can find plenty of unscented or even all-natural canine shampoos as the pet store these days. Make sure to clean between the wrinkles and rinse thoroughly. Canine conditioners can also be beneficial for Pugs.

Sometimes getting your pug or pug puppy in the bath every 3 weeks just isn't enough-- they may start to smell in between. Having a deodorizing spray can be helpful but it's likely the wrinkles are the culprit. You can use dog wipes or Q-tips with baby oil (or another sensitive skin oil) to clean between the wrinkles.

Paw Care

According to many owners, pug nails grow fast and depending upon their lifestyle you may need to trim the nails as frequently as every 3 weeks or as infrequently as every other month. Those that spend a lot of time walking around the block may naturally wear down their nails a bit. As a rule of thumb, check the length of the nails every month-- and if you hear them clicking on the floor or pavement, it's definitely time for a trim.

This breed has black nails, so it will be hard to see the quick. If you opt for the traditional guillotine style nail clippers, make sure to be very conservative and not clip too much all at once. Many owners opt for a spinning sander tool for this breed.

Other Care

Teeth- Keeping your Pug's teeth clean is a necessity that prevents other serious health issues. Many owners complain their Pug's breath doesn't smell, shall we say, "fresh"; weekly brushing with a fingerbrush or canine toothbrush and a drop of doggy toothpaste can help. Breath freshening treats and chew toys can help too. If a very bad smell persists-- it's time for a vet visit!

Ears- Checking your pugs ears every 2-3 weeks for signs of dirt is recommended. If they smell or appear dirty, a cotton ball or rag with some pet ear cleaning solution should be used. Q-tips can be used on the outer ear surfaces but they shouldn't be inserted deeply.

Eyes- The characteristic bug-eyes of the pug are easily injured so it's recommended to check them daily. Use a wet cloth or cotton pad to wipe away any goo or dirt from the eyes area. Pug eye drops are often prescribed for dry eyes (a common issue).

Wrinkles- Wrinkles smell--
period. In between baths you can use canine wipes or Q-tips with baby oil to clean between the wrinkles.

Fleas, Ticks, & Other Pests

Pug ear mites, Pugs and fleas, ticks, and other tiny critters are an unfortunate problem. For both treatment and prevention, the best flea treatment for Pugs is to see a veterinarian. Further info on how to treat pests on your Pug, and how to prevent them in the first place:

PREVENTION:

  • Use a flea collar, along with commercial sprays, powders, and shampoos
  • Wash the dog's bedding once a week
  • Keep yards free of organic debris (lawn clippings, leaf piles, etc.); pests like to live in moist vegetation
  • Practice "social distancing"; keep your Pug's contact with other animals limited to stop transmission of pests


TREATMENT:

  • See a veterinarian
  • Commercial shampoos, powders, and sprays
  • Thoroughly clean the home including vacuuming of carpets, upholstery, and bedding; wash dog's bedding in hot water
  • Severe cases may require use of indoor foggers and outdoor lawn treatments

Pug Styling & Haircuts

Pugs are cute, adorable even and they don't really need any styling to keep them that way. The short, straight coat makes pug cuts or shaving unnecessary. While you may not find any pictures of haircuts, shaved pug pictures can be found online and, as you can see, they don't look much different; some owners simply choose this method because it reduces shed. There's a lot of debate about shaving the breed, but if you insist upon it, all you need is a pet clipping tool.